BATTERY PARK CITY
Between West Street and the Hudson River, below Vesey Street
Originally developed as a brand new neighborhood in the 1970s, to exist as a built as a self-sufficient city within the city on landfill from the excavation of the Twin Towers, Battery Park City juts out into the Hudson River at the southwest tip of Manhattan. This gorgeous neighborhood on the water was built to accommodate people who worked in the Twin Towers and the Financial District, but did not want to commute from Uptown or further. This development was well-planned from the start, and now boasts boardwalks, parks, marinas, playgrounds, and any other amenities anyone could want or need.
BEEKMAN PLACE AND SUTTON PLACE
From East 49th Street to East 61st Street, between the East River and First Avenue
Sleepy, sleepy, sleepy defines these well-established, exclusive and refined residential areas that overlook the East River. Elegant "white glove" pre-war buildings along Beekman and Sutton are mixed in with post-war apartments and townhouses up and down the side streets. Beekman Place is truly off the beaten path, and is only two blocks long. It was the home of Irving Berlin and One Beekman Place still houses many illustrious (and wealthy) New Yorkers. Take a romantic stroll in the evening and marvel at the architecture of the apartment buildings and townhomes. Have a nightcap on the roof of the Beekman Tower Hotel on 49th Street and First Avenue, also known as Mitchell Place. Or, have the world's most expensive martini across First Avenue at the bar in Donald Trump's building, Trump World. Sutton Place is almost as inaccessible as Beekman, however to the north it becomes York Avenue and runs all the way to 96th Street on the East Side. You can get all your amenities here. There are a few great little parks below Beekman Place on First Avenue, and if you are looking for an East River stroll in either direction you can enter these neighborhoods, ending up two miles later to the north at Gracie Mansion, the mayor's official residence.
From West 14th Street to West 28th Street, between Sixth Avenue and the Hudson River
Chelsea has become one of the hottest areas in the city, especially with the development of the High Line Park along the Hudson River. In the blocks closer to the river, garages and car washes have been transformed into posh art galleries and production studios. Most evenings in this area you can find any number of art openings and celebrations taking place at either a gallery or a trendy night spot. This is also one of the best neighborhoods in the city for eclectic and interesting restaurants. Heading east from the river offers a mix of real estate: residential brownstones, apartment buildings and warehouses converted into spectacular loft apartments. Along Sixth and Seventh Avenues several new apartment buildings have been constructed which have enhanced the rental inventory. This area also hosts one of the city's best recreational facilities, Chelsea Piers. A virtual country club, this huge indoor and outdoor sports and recreation center (golf, horseback riding, bowling, gymnastics, hockey, ice skating, restaurants, etc. and even parking) has brought a whole new life to the river's edge of this neighborhood. Chelsea is also home to a wide variety of shopping spots, such as Chelsea Market, Bed Bath & Beyond, Loehmann's and Barney's Co-Op. And it's also a hip area for clubbing and dining out.
From West 34th Street to West 59th Street, between Eight Avenue on the east and the Hudson River
If you're looking to reside in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, Clinton/Hell's Kitchen may be right for you. Day and night, this area is full of life. This area has changed dramatically over the last ten years. The gentrification and rejuvenation of Times Square has turned what was once a rather "grungy" neighborhood into a trendy and happening area. Formerly known as Hell's Kitchen, residential developers thought a name change would better reflect the area's new spirit and sensibility, and have now labeled it "Clinton Hill," but most New Yorkers still prefer to call it Hell's Kitchen. Corporations have been enticed to set up shop here: Conde Nast, Skadden Arps, and others have built their headquarters here. You will find restaurants, both high-end and take-out, huge multiplex theaters, health clubs and more. A diverse group of New Yorkers call this neighborhood home, bringing a certain flavor to this slice of Manhattan. It is also home to the Broadway Theatre District, Times Square, the Garment District, Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Jacob Javits Convention Center. There are many new high-rise luxury rental apartment buildings, either recently completed or under construction, throughout the neighborhood. The icing on the cake is the new, very expensive AOL Time Warner office/residential tower at Columbus Circle on 59th Street. Called "One Central Park", it is an address known throughout the world. It also houses a Whole Foods, Equinox Health & Fitness Center, and a myriad of shops, boutiques and restaurants.
From East 96th Street to East 125th Street, between First Avenue and Fifth Avenue
A century ago, East Harlem was poised to become what the Upper East Side is today: a neighborhood of wealth and luxury. Instead, many landlords began investing elsewhere with the extension of train lines to outer boroughs. Rising prices and neglect led to disrepair. Through all this, East Harlem has remained a vibrant community with a largely Spanish-speaking population. Respected museums, great apartments and convenient transportation on the 4/5/6 subway line make this neighborhood one of the best values in Manhattan.
From Houston Street north to East 14th Street, between Broadway and Avenue D
Not so long ago this area was in the news every day for the riots in Thompson Square Park and the raunchy feel of the streets. Today the East Village is a very desirable location for those seeking a different lifestyle than their parents. The tattoo parlors, piercing shops and record stores are now making room for up-and-coming designers and upscale housewares. Moms and children now populate the parks during the day and people walk their dogs at night. Some of the hottest young chefs have decided to make this area their home and, as a result, this district has become a stop on the gastronomic map of New York City. It's also the spot for some of the hippest shopping, from high-end vintage to great antiques.
FLATIRON/ LOWER MIDTOWN
From East 22nd Street to East 34th Street
You know you have landed in Manhattan when you stand in the middle of traffic at the junction of Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street and turn slowly around to see the Flatiron Building, the Met Life Building, the New York Life Building and the Empire State Building. There are many new high-rise luxury rental buildings and condominiums rising along Sixth Avenue. This is also an area where there are still many "lofts" being converted to either rentals or condominiums. The area is a bit quiet at night, but is extremely busy by day.
GREENWICH VILLAGE/WEST VILLAGE
From Canal Street north to 14th Street, between the Bowery on the east and the Hudson River
For the better part of the century, Greenwich Village and the West Village have been popular places for New Yorkers of all ages. Many streets are cobblestone and lined with trees. There are brownstones and brick townhouses, some which date back 200 years. Unlike most of the city, the streets here are not laid out in a grid. As a result, even Village natives sometimes need a map in this part of town. There are many fascinating local spots – from the White Horse Tavern on Hudson Street, to the speakeasies which had been housed in any number of homes along Bank or Bethune Streets. There is almost no zoning for "high-rises" in this area and therefore it's still dominated by small brownstone homes, many of which are single family dwellings. All this comes at a price: rents and sale prices are some of the highest in the city. The West Village is considered more quiet than Greenwich Village which houses New York University, Washington Square and Bleecker Street. Greenwich Village is home to many of the city's famous music bars (the Blue Note, The Bottom Line and Marie's Crisis) as well as some of the greatest Off-Broadway theaters (Minetta Lane and the Lucille Lortel) and hundreds of restaurants, bars and novelty shops.
From West 145th Street to West 155th Street
Hamilton Heights is a residential historic district north of Morningside Heights and south of Washington Heights. One of the most sought after neighborhoods in Harlem, Hamilton Heights lures residents with its blend of beautiful brownstones, limestone townhouses and brick buildings. Landmark churches and the Gothic spire of City College add to the quaint atmosphere of the area.
From West 110th Street to the Harlem River and Morningside Heights, between St. Nicholas Avenue to the west and Fifth Avenue to the east
Harlem is experiencing a renaissance. This famous neighborhood has new occupants such as former President Bill Clinton, and merchants have opened stores like The Gap, Old Navy, Magic Johnson Theatres and Starbucks. Celebrated establishments like the Apollo Theatre, the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Sylvia's eatery on Lenox Avenue help set the tone for this area's rebirth. Over the past five to seven years, the real estate market in this area has been hot, with buyers and renters vying for property. Many new developments were built in Harlem in the past 10 years, so the neighborhood has a solid inventory of new condominiums.
LITTLE ITALY'S NOLITA
The crossroad between SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown and the East Village
Once known as Little Italy for its Italian immigrant population, great Italian eateries and all things Italian, this neighborhood is now known as NoLita (North of Little Italy) and is now more like East SoHo. While you can still get a cappuccino and a great bowl of pasta, you can also buy chic clothing made by local designers who have opened their own boutiques. NoLita has gained the attention of the young trend-setting artists and well-to-do professionals who are seeking a mix of hip and traditional living. There are not many high rises and the original architecture is still mostly six-story walk-ups on historic streets.
LOWER EAST SIDE
Bound by Houston and Division Streets, and the East River and Bowery
One of the newest areas to become one of Manhattan's hottest spots is the formerly "fringe" neighborhood of the Lower East Side. Until recently, the Lower East Side was what it had always been – a population of immigrants whose neighborhood was made up of six-story residential tenement buildings. It was, and still is, a shopping mecca for tourists, uptown Manhattanites, as well as suburban visitors in for the weekend looking for designer labels for less, as well as fabric, linens, lighting at a discount, and an array of smoked fish, pickles and other culinary delights. Now, the trendy bars, cafes, shops and performance spaces have arrived. You can still get a bit more value on housing, but due to the neighborhood's recent spike in popularity, it's definitely not the low rent district it was a decade ago.
West 110th Street to West 135th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and the Hudson River
Only in New York would you find this particular mix of academic and city life. The world renowned Columbia University is at its center. This is also where you will find St. John the Divine, the world's largest cathedral. Most of the area is populated by students from Columbia University, Barnard College, Manhattan School of Music, Bank Street College, and the Union Theological Seminary, as well as non-student local residents. Because of the vibrant student life of Morningside Heights, the neighborhood has developed to cater to it's students, and as such you will find every convenience service necessary in the area.
From East 34th to East 42nd Streets, between Fifth Avenue and the East River
The wonderful thing about New York is that as much as things change, many things stay the same. This is particularly true in Murray Hill. The beautiful tree-lined side streets and 100-year-old brownstones set the tone for this neighborhood. That said, high-rise living is plentiful as you get to the avenues further east. In fact, the area on First Avenue between 34th and 38th Streets houses well over 2,000 apartments in just four buildings. The neighborhood has tons of amenities. Just a few years ago Murray Hill seemed to go to sleep after the workday ended, but no longer. Traveling along Third Avenue you'll find at least two restaurants per block on both sides of the street. It's an easy walk to the subways and commuter trains at Grand Central Station.
From Houston Street north to 8th Street, between Mercer Street and Bowery
NoHo ("North of Houston") is wedged between Greenwich Village and the East Village. Previously a commercial and industrial district, NoHo changed to residential in the late 1980s and early 1990s when young professionals got priced out of SoHo. Today, NoHo is on par with SoHo, price-wise, and is also equally stylish and trendy. NoHo is home to the Public Theatre on Lafayette Street and many chic restaurants (Indochine, Bond Street). Both NoHo and SoHo are zoned for "mixed-use," meaning both residential and commercial/light industrial.
An island in the East River, between Manhattan and Queens
For those who hope to live in a planned community with only high-rise apartments, Roosevelt Island may be for you. This area became a residential neighborhood in 1976 and has continued to expand ever since. The Island is self-contained with everything necessary to build a home: restaurants, grocery stores, schools, gyms, parks, and more. The Island is most accessible from Manhattan by the F subway line, but you can also take the tram at 59th Street and 2nd Avenue, which takes approximately 10 minutes. If you are looking for a slightly less expensive housing alternative to Manhattan, combined with the atypical "city" experience, you should explore Roosevelt Island. Look at their web site at www.roosevelt-island.ny.us.
Bordered by Houston and Canal Streets, Crosby Street and Sixth Avenue
SoHo ("South of Houston") was once an area zoned for artists and their studios. Artists lived upstairs and their storefront galleries and studios were at ground level. But this is no longer the case. The extreme revitalization of SoHo has pushed most of the artists out. Now SoHo is about all things high-end: retail shopping, high-end eateries, and high-end tourists. With stores like Prada, Chanel and Agnes B., SoHo is known for its shopping. The art galleries that have remained are expensive are for those with expensive taste and chic restaurants like Balthazar, Savoy and the Hampton Chutney Company populate the area. Despite the exodus of small artists, SoHo still retains a spectacular European style, with old-world architecture and cobblestone streets. It also boasts more cast iron balconies and fire escapes than most European cities. SoHo also has some of the city's best lofts.
Bounded by Canal, Lafayette and Chambers Streets and the Hudson River
Tribeca is shorthand for the "triangle below Canal," and includes the areas that are bordered by Canal Street on the north, Lafayette and Chambers Streets on the east, and the Hudson River on the west. Robert Deniro's film studio, "Tribeca Films," famous trendy dining spots and extraordinary loft living can be found in this neighborhood. This area is well-stocked with any services and local business you may want, such as dry-cleaning, delis, grocery stores, banks, etc. ny services. Tribeca hosts its very own film festival which brings thousands into its charming blocks every year. If you like industrial living and terrific, large loft spaces, this may be a great place for you.
A tiny enclave from East 41st to East 43rd Streets, between 2nd Avenue and Tudor City Place
This is the first planned community in Manhattan. Built in the 1920s, Tudor City is tucked away behind Second Avenue.. Actually, many people do not even know that it exists. For those working in Midtown East, it offers a very tranquil lifestyle while being only minutes to your desk, or to the subway and Metro North at Grand Central. Tudor City sits on a knoll, and looks down on First Avenue, the East River and the United Nations. There's a terrific view as you stand in the middle of Tudor City looking west from down 42nd Street – all the way to the Hudson River The buildings of this neighborhood are, of course, all known as "Tudor" architecture style and they surround a tranquil park. The transformation of Grand Central Station now offers residents of this area fabulous food markets, wine shops, great restaurants.
UNION SQUARE AND GRAMERCY PARK
From East 14th Street to East 22nd Street
Housing options have flourished in this neighborhood. Gramercy Park itself was the primary residential opportunity until developers began converting and developing the neighborhood. It is an interesting mix of New York in the 1880s, as you circle around Gramercy Park with its beautiful old world charm, and the modern life of the 21st century. Gramercy Park is the sole surviving "private residential park" in the city and is surrounded by landmark townhouses and pre-war buildings. Just outside the quiet boundaries of the Park, the city bursts into life again offering every type of dwelling from luxury high-rise living to warehouses converted into loft spaces. The area boasts every type of venue from nightclubs to a huge open-air farmer's market in Union Square. Some of the notable upscale stores in this area include ABC Carpet & Home and Paragon Sports. There is a plethora of great dining in the area and plenty of nightlife.
UPPER EAST SIDE
From East 59th Street to East 96th Street, between Fifth Avenue and the East River
The Upper East Side and the Upper West side are considered to be the two most residential neighborhoods in Manhattan. Nearly all businesses in the area support the residents. The Upper East Side has always been considered the most refined and culturally elegant area of New York City. The area from Central Park's Fifth Avenue to Lexington Avenue may have the most expensive real estate in the country, if not the world. It is renowned for its pre-war, "white glove" co-ops, which, in recent years, have seen prices up to the $45 million dollar range. The residential ambiance, along with art galleries, high-end designer boutiques, renowned museums, coveted private schools and five-star restaurants combine to put the Upper East Side in the international spotlight. But don't panic – even if you are not the CEO of your company, you can be part of this community. The Upper East Side is one of the widest geographical areas with many, many high-rise apartment buildings. There is more housing available here than in most areas of the city, so because of simple supply and demand, the Upper East Side has some of the most affordable housing options in the city. The more affordable housing is located between Lexington Avenue and the East River, the theory being that the further you get from Central Park and the Lexington Avenue Subway, the less expensive it gets. Many entry-level professionals and young families buy or rent their first home between Third and York Avenues, an area loaded with amenities. We would be remiss not to point out a small area called Carnegie Hill located from 86th to 96th Streets between Fifth Avenue and Park Avenue. A truly small town located in a big city. It's charming, quiet, close to Central Park and filled with families, private schools and every imaginable amenity.
UPPER UPPER WEST SIDE
From West 96th Street to West 110th Street, between Morningside Drive on the east and the Hudson River
With rents and purchasing prices still high in the lower regions of the Upper West Side, this area is becoming more desirable by the moment. Apartment options vary from the classic pre-war doorman and elevator buildings to brownstones that line the side streets. You can get more for your money in this area than in other parts of the Upper West Side. It is attracting more high-end retail shops and great specialty restaurants. It is a family neighborhood where asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar is still the norm. Because it does not attract a ton of transients during the day, most people begin to recognize each other as they walk down the street. Residents in this neighborhood are a wonderful mix of artists, bankers, musicians, lawyers and political activists who prefer the diverse mix of cultures found here.
UPPER WEST SIDE
From West 59th Street to West 96th Street, between Central Park West on the east and Riverside Drive on the Hudson River
The Upper West Side is, along with the Upper East Side, one of the two most residential neighborhoods in Manhattan. The look and feel changes about every 10 blocks. The West 60's is the most recently developed area and is more glitzy than the rest of the neighborhood with beautiful new buildings built by Millennium Partners. Very chic boutiques and restaurants line every block. As you inch your way towards the West 80's the neighborhood takes on a more traditional feel. There are benches in the parkway in the middle of Broadway, and stores such as Fairway, for all kinds of groceries and Zabar's for exotic foods and kitchen supplies. By the time you get to the West 90's it will feel as though you've turned back the clock to the 1950s – the majority of the buildings are exactly the same as they were 60 years ago, and there is very little development in the way of mega-complexes or "superstores." The Upper West Side affords you classic Manhattan living! Every service, amenity and type of housing exists within this area and the fun is finding all of them. It is home to turn-of-the century apartment buildings, rows of brownstones on wide, tree-lined side streets, family-run stores, heavily trafficked Broadway and the extraordinary cultural icon known as Lincoln Center. The Upper West Side was traditionally considered home to intellectuals, writers, musicians and artists but now houses as many CEOs as the East Side. It's home to a diverse group of New Yorkers of all ages.
WALL STREET/ FINANCIAL DISTRICT
Southernmost tip of Manhattan. The internationally recognized Financial District lies at the southernmost tip of Manhattan.
The Financial District is an extremely convenient neighborhood to live in if you work on Wall Street or in the surrounding area. You can roll out of bed and be at your office in five-minutes. If you first view apartments here during the workday, be sure to come back at night – the hustle and bustle of Wall Street dies down after 6:00 PM. The Financial District is also extremely quiet on weekends. The architecture in the Financial District is unique, with old office buildings having been converted into residential apartments. Local services such as dry cleaners, grocery stores and Laundromats are limited and you may need to reach beyond your immediate area for certain needs.
WASHINGTON HEIGHTS AND INWOOD
From 154th Street to 243rd Street, between the Harlem River and the Hudson River
Occupying Northern Manhattan are the two neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Inwood. You'll find very few modern buildings in this area. Most buildings are 6 to 12 story apartment houses which were built in the 1920s and 1930s. Many are large with high ceilings and offer views of the Hudson River or Harlem River Valley. Most apartments are co-ops or rentals. There are also a moderate number of one and two-family homes. The easily accessible subway lines makes getting to midtown Manhattan a breeze. High Bridge, Fort Washington and Inwood Parks are great places for exercising and offer superb views of the Hudson and Harlem Rivers. This is also home to the magnificent Cloisters, an abbey shipped brick-by-brick from Europe, and devoted to medieval life and art. It was donated by the Rockefeller family and can be found in Fort Tryon Park. The view from the Cloisters is magnificent and is a great spot for picnics. Washington Heights is home to The Hispanic Society of America and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. One of the city's largest teaching hospitals, Columbia Presbyterian, dominates the area. In addition to the local convenience stores, Dykman Avenue, from 181st to 207th Streets, offers great shopping.
YORKVILLE AND EAST END AVENUE
From East 77th Street to East 91st Street, between Lexington Avenue and the East River
A quintessential, small, neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood on the Upper East Side, Yorkville residents like to keep it a well-guarded secret. Just slightly off the beaten path, it offers tranquility and a great mix of pre- and post-war apartment buildings, townhouses and old brownstones. In the old days, Yorkville was home to many Irish, German and Hungarian immigrants, and you can still find some great ethnic restaurants and food shops in the area. East End Avenue is almost a separate neighborhood within Yorkville. It's only 13 blocks long and is primarily residential. However, either on East End Avenue itself, or just a few steps off, you can find every service you need. While East End Avenue is home to many elegant buildings, the side streets offer affordable housing in converted walk-up brownstones. It's also home to Gracie Mansion, the mayor's official residence, which sits right in the center of Carl Schurz Park on the East River. The Park is actually built on top of a section of the FDR Drive. A beautiful promenade runs the length of the Park above the river, offering a place to bike, jog and stroll. Summer days find the Park filled with sunbathers and by night, the promenade is a great place for a quiet, romantic walk. Asphalt Green is at the northern tip of the Park and houses a terrific sports facility with one of the city's best swimming pools.